O2 has changed the way its network operates in a bid
to tackle the impending ‘data crunch’, the company’s chief technology officer,
Derek McManus, said last week.
The operator has been in talks with the manufacturers
that make its network infrastructure, as it looks to improve the process by
which multiple connections are dealt with.
O2 will redimension parts of its network to be
‘process orientated’ – dealing with the apps process, rather than ‘volume
orientated’ – dealing with the data process.
McManus said: ‘We have changed some of the ways
elements of our network operates. There are certain things with manufacturers and
the base stations that need to be smaller and closer to one another. Volume is
doubling every four months.’
Many have blamed Apple’s iPhone for chewing up
bandwidth. However, McManus said: ‘The iPhone grabs the headlines as it is so
popular, but with all smartphones it is the applications that cause the
He added: ‘The capacity problem isn’t going to go
away. It’s a positive challenge. How do you ensure you have coverage?’
McManus said the operator is also starting to see the
benefits of a £30m spend on the network in London before Christmas.
The initial work, which included 40 new masts in the London area, has now been completed, McManus told Mobile.
In autumn last year, coverage problems had forced O2 to implement a Network Performance Improvement
Plan, with an extra £100m spend added in 2010.
The network had blamed the emergency on pressure in areas with a ‘high concentration of
‘It was an intense piece of work,’ McManus said. ’But
because we have more smartphone users we have been able to see what that means
to the network.’
For full McManus interview, see next week's Mobile.